Steve Wangen

Postdoctoral Fellow


Since 2007: PhD: Ecology - Lincoln University, New Zealand

2004: M.S. Forest Ecology and Management - Michigan Technological University

2002: B.S. Forest Science - University of Wisconsin - Madison

Research interests

I am broadly interested in examining how the spatial distribution and patterning of habitat affects demographic processes. I am particularly interested in the scale dependency of these relationships, and how different life-history traits of organisms affect this dynamic. Most of my research investigates these dynamics from the perspective of exotic invasions of plants, as these invasions offer an interesting perspective which allows us to view the development of a population from it's initial introduction. This perspective can help to clarify the process of population development by eliminating the contribution of the unknown historical context. Instead, many invasive introductions allows us to observe the development of the population from scratch.

In my current position, I am working on a multidisciplinary team (in partnership with the optimization group and educational research integration area in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery) to develop an educational video game intended to increase awareness regarding the environmental, economic, and institutional factors around land-use conflicts. At the same time, this gaming platform is designed to be used as a unique simulation platform that can be used to investigate the consequences of manipulating these factors in different ways. Both game play and research rely heavily on the development and implementation of agent- (or individual-) based models. This game is intended to be modular and easily adaptable to address a large array of research questions.

Personal interests

I am currently in the midst of an obsession with all things road cycling (particularly racing and training), although I'm currently on hiatus until my thesis is submitted. Now that I'm back in Wisconsin, I intended on rediscovering winter sports, and am particularly geeked about cross-country skiing.

Where I'm From